Police achieve success in combating scams

Chen Huizhi
Shanghai police have solved more telecom and Internet scam cases so far this year compared to the same period last year, with fewer people falling victim to scammers.
Chen Huizhi

On average about 1,300 people got a visit or an alert message from police every day when they were contacted by scammers in the first seven months this year, Shanghai police said on Monday.

For years, Shanghai police's call center has been alerting potential telecom scam victims after detecting calls from suspicious numbers to them, and in urgent cases sending police officers in person to prevent them from falling into the trap.

Over 29 million SMS messages and 1.9 million calls were sent to potential victims from January to July this year, and together with the in-person visits, they prevented residents from losing nearly 900 million yuan (US$139 million), police revealed.

Telecom and Internet scams are the most frequent frauds entrapping local residents. As such scams have been increasingly targeting company accountants in recent years, police have now set up a new system that detects scams against this group of people and alerts them.

So far this year, over 125,000 SMS messages were sent to potential victims through the new system, preventing 1,700 companies from suffering losses, police said.

In the meantime, police have stepped up their crackdown on the scammers.

The number of scam cases in which people lost money to suspects dropped 3 percent from the same period last year, and the number of cases solved was up 35.7 percent in the same period, according to police.

Through their mechanism of cooperation with banks, police prevented 350 million yuan from being transferred to the scammers in these cases and froze 390 million yuan in the scammers' accounts.

As people aged under 30 account for over 60 percent of all victims in telecom and Internet scam cases, with over 85 percent of the scams happening online, police have intensified their crackdown on Internet scams.

In the first seven months this year, Shanghai police have solved over 900 blackmailing cases over the Internet and nabbed more than 700 suspects.

Police believe that its awareness campaign has been crucial in preventing telecom and Internet scams.

This year, 216,000 people considered highly susceptible to such scams have received reminders from police.

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